Most photographers, especially professional ones, know that it is not the camera that makes the picture, but in fact the photographer. Cameras are wonderful tools that continue to advance as technology and time passes. This is a great thing. The innovation and intelligence that goes into making cameras, lenses and equipment cannot be denied. I watched a presentation by Canon that detailed how lenses are made and it was certainly awe inspiring.
It is important for professional photographers to be kind and helpful to other photographers and non-photographers by explaining to them how cameras are wonderful tools that help us in creation, not solely responsible for the creation itself (no more than a pen writes the novel or a scalpel completes the surgery itself.) However, simply liking or enjoying new cameras and technology is not a reason to admonish people. For example, there seems to be a backlash towards anyone who wants the newer Canon cameras, such as the 5D MK II or 7D. Both cameras seem to be great tools and have amazing reviews. Simply because these cameras are slightly pricey, any mention of owning or wanting one seems to open a Pandora's box of criticism, as if wanting a camera like these means that the photographer automatically believes that the camera makes the photograph and not the photographer. This is an insult and disrespect to most photographers. As I mentioned above, some photographers and non-photographers may incorrectly believe this. But to post blanket statements (via blog, social media etc.) against someone wanting a new camera or being interested in new technology does a disservice to the photography community and creates further animosity and separation that doesn't need to be there.
I have had people ask about my camera and even state "I like the pictures that your camera takes" and I would kindly and jokingly state "I like the food that your pots cook." We would have a good laugh and then I would explain to them why I choose certain cameras to do certain things and how my iPhone camera rocks too (the picture of my cameras above is an iPhone shot). Simple, easy, pleasant convo without harsh criticisms and judgment seemed to work fine. But this is from me, a pro photographer talking to a person unfamiliar with photography. However, when one pro photographer insults another pro photographer's knowledge because they are interested in a newer camera, that really does a disservice to what should be a great networking and information sharing relationship via social media.
It's ok to like cameras. It really is. I promise. Just as we upgrade/change our cars (despite all cars being able to drive to the same destination) or move from a smaller home to a bigger home (or vice versa) it is ok to upgrade or downgrade cameras and to enjoy the technology.** Certainly we want to keep in mind that we determine what photograph we create while using these amazing tools and be helpful to those who may not understand the differences. But when someone with a G10 (or other point & shoot) bashes someone for wanting a 7D (or other SLR), or a seasoned pro with a larger budget who owns two 5D MK II (and perhaps a Mark III as well), doesn't want anyone else to be able to upgrade and criticizes them for wanting to, it becomes a little silly and seems that insecurity is ruling their thoughts, not a love for photography.
Whether we shoot with our iPhone cameras or our new Canon, Nikon, Olympus or other dSLRs, let's remember the fun of photography and not force other photographers into boxes via insults and criticisms that really may be insecurity or superiority complexes doing the talking. Let's keep a love for photography first and keep creating beautiful work.
**To be clear, I do not seek to uphold or uplift random materialism. What I mean is that a photographer who also enjoys the actual tools they work with should not be admonished by others who cannot afford the same tools, have better tools and do not want the person to upgrade or feel that it is somehow immoral to enjoy the innovation and creativity that goes behind creating interesting products and imagery. Relating this to houses and cars was not to suggest that people should buy anything at anytime, but simply to mention changes in the things that we own does occur. My concern is that some photographers criticize other photographers for upgrading cameras, yet not on other upgrades/changes that are made in other purchase areas. Interest in technology and innovation as well as changing tools is ok in my book.